You know what they call the football franchise in this area: Champs of the offseason.
And why are they called that? Because they spend every offseason blowing cash. Not spending it, but blowing it.
Can we even recall how many bad signings Dan Snyder has forced? And what has it got him? Nada.
Are we really lamenting the loss of Jorge DeLaRosa? Could 1 in 100 Nats fans pick Jorge DeLaRosa out of a police lineup? Would they know who he was if he walked into their livingroom with an "I'm Jorge DeLaRosa" t-shirt on?
No. They wouldn't. And he got three years and $33 million. For the Hispanic Jason Marquis no less.
Sorry to say this folks, but 2011 died the moment SS's elbow did. No amount of cash thrown around this winter is going to change that. So the objective for this offseason and next year is exactly the same as it was last year: develop assets for future use.
That means using playing time to either give young players a chance to establish major league value or use it to rebuild value in retreads and spin that into controllable young talent.
Overpaying mediocre at best veterans is just a stupid way to placate a fan base and a waste of the precious resources of major league playing time and a financial sinkhole in years when you are hopefully better.
Getting that #1 starter was always going to be tough. There aren't that many of them and they are constantly changing. On the open market, they command ludicrous amounts of money. On the trade market, they demand ridiculous amounts of prospect value. The farm system is better but it's not yet at the level to absorb a major three or four for one deal.
Now, I'm not totally going to let them off the hook for the lack of offseason spending. I am still wondering why I read about teams like the Minnesota Twins signing top Dominican prospects for couch change in the Lerner household.
And why could the Toronto Blue Jays buy a sandwich pick in a deep 2011 draft for $500,000 and the Nats couldn't?
I agree on Webb. It better not be money keeping him from signing here. That's all I'll say about that, unless he wants a guaranteed two or three years. Then, pound sand 9 innings in two years boy.
Aside from the big splashy moves, I would hope they are focusing on putting together a better bench for 2011 at the very least. It won't cost much and it would go a long way toward making the team more respectable. Give us at least one guy who can sit on his ass for eight innings and enjoy the game and then go up there and poke on out in the ninth.